“Now we’ve been doing it for almost 30 years. “
At first, The Green Place supplied the grains for the production of Grain Place Foods – around 85 to 90 percent, Vetter estimated. Now, he said, the farm provides only about 1% of the raw material. Crops managed by Grain Place Foods today include red and white winter wheat, barley, whole grain rice, and rolled grains like oatmeal.
“In the beginning for us, our big market was whole soybeans, popcorn, corn and wheat,” Vetter said.
In 1990, the company was approached by Greg Harrison of CJ Foods about organic bird food, Vetter recalled. “He told me what he wanted to do. He said, everyone we spoke to said it can’t be done. And then he said, ‘Can you do it?’ Looking at it a bit, I said, “Well, number one, I don’t understand why this can’t be done. But number two, I don’t know how to do it. But if you’re willing to help us figure it out, we’ll give it a try.
It turns out it could be done.
“We earn around £ 2 million a year,” Vetter said.
“Now about half of our business is probably high-value pet food,” Vetter said. “We make a line of pet bird food for a Tennessee-based company. “
This includes the “cake mix” for birds, Vetter said. “It bakes like a cake. It works great in a cupcake pan or a small loaf pan. This is a truly amazing product because it is the only product wild macaws can eat. When properly fed, they can raise their own young in captivity, but it’s also probably the most expensive on the market.